A Week of Simple Menus to Start Your Ultimate Weight-Loss Plan

Confused over which diet of the day to follow? The menus below are based on just three principles: Get protein with every meal, have at least two servings of fruit or veggies at each meal, and choose fiber-rich carbs.


Confused over which diet of the day to follow? The menus below are based on just three principles: Get protein with every meal, have at least two servings of fruit or veggies at each meal, and choose fiber-rich carbs. Unsweetened beverages like coffee, iced tea, and diet soft drinks are unlimited. Average your calories out to about 1,600 per day, enough to help you lose weight slowly. Then, as you reach your goal weight, increase portion sizes of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and add a little more healthy fat to maintain that weight.

Monday

  • Breakfast
    Banana-Walnut Oatmeal (1 c. cooked oatmeal; small banana, sliced; 2 T walnuts; 1 T honey); glass of 1% reduced-fat milk (1 c.); sections of 1 orange



  • Lunch
    Ham and cheese sandwich: Lean deli ham (3 oz); light Swiss cheese (1 oz); 2 slices rye bread; sliced tomato, lettuce; 1 tsp each: low-fat mayonnaise and grainy mustard; 1 apple



  • Supper
    Herb-roasted chicken, skin removed (6 oz); small baked sweet potato, skin removed; 1 tsp butter; steamed whole green beans (1/2 c.) with drizzle of olive oil (1/2 tsp); chopped fresh pineapple (1/2 c.)



  • P.M. Snack
    Small apple


Tuesday

  • Breakfast
    Bran flakes (1 c.); sliced almonds (2 T); Dried bing cherries (2 T); 1% reduced-fat milk (1 c.); 1/2 pink grapefruit



  • Lunch
    Lean deli roast beef (4 oz); whole-grain baguette (2 oz); low-fat mayonnaise (2 tsp); tomato slices; 1 Bartlett pear



  • Supper
    Pan-seared pork tenderloin (6 oz); wild-and-brown-rice blend (1/2 c.) with chopped walnuts (1 T); steamed carrots (1 c.) with dill and butter (1 tsp); sliced strawberries (1 c.)



  • P.M. Snack
    Sliced kiwi fruit (1 c.) with low-fat vanilla yogurt (1/2 c.)


Wednesday

  • Breakfast
    Whole-grain toast (2 slices); chunky or smooth peanut butter (2 T); glass of 1% reduced-fat milk (1 c.) or 2 slices reduced-fat cheddar cheese (1-1/2 oz); sliced fresh peaches (1 c.)



  • Lunch
    Turkey Roll-Up (Roll 3 oz thinly sliced lean turkey breast, 1 oz Havarti cheese with dill, 1 c. shredded spinach, and 2 thin slices avocado into a whole wheat tortilla spread with 2 tsp low-fat mayonnaise); sliced cucumbers (1 c.) with a splash of red-wine vinegar; tomato juice (6 oz); wedge of watermelon



  • Supper
    Roasted garlic hummus (2 T) with carrot sticks and 1 piece whole-wheat pita bread (cut into triangles); grilled chicken breast, skin removed (6 oz); steamed broccoli (1 c.), drizzled with olive oil (1 tsp); and grated Parmesan cheese (1 tsp); baked apple with cinnamon



  • P.M. Snack
    Green grapes (a handful)


Thursday

  • Breakfast
    2 scrambled eggs rolled up in a corn tortilla; fresh tomato salsa (1/2 c.); mixed fresh-fruit salad (1/2 c.)



  • Lunch
    Lentil soup (1 c.); terriyaki baked tofu (available in supermarkets) (2 slices); baby carrots (1 c.) or carrot sticks; fresh apricots (2)



  • Supper
    Spiced Salmon: (Brush a 6-oz salmon fillet with chili garlic sauce and 1 tsp honey. Roast at 400° for 8 to10 minutes.) Steamed zucchini and halved grape tomatoes (1 c.) drizzled with garlic, olive oil (1 tsp), and chopped basil; whole-grain garlic couscous (1 c.) with olive oil (1 tsp); 1 tangerine



  • P.M. Snack
    Salted mixed nuts (1/4 c.)


Friday

  • Breakfast
    Strawberry-Almond Smoothie (Blend 1 c. low-fat vanilla yogurt, 1/4 c. plain soy milk, and 1 c. frozen strawberries with 1 tsp honey and 1 T almonds); reduced-fat cheddar cheese cubes (1 oz); rye crackers, crispbread style (2)



  • Lunch
    Steamed peeled shrimp (4 oz); cocktail sauce (2 T); three-bean salad (1 c.); tropical fruit salad : mango, papaya, pineapple (1 c.)



  • Supper
    Turkey meatloaf (6 oz); mashed winter squash (1/2 c.) with cinnamon and butter (1 tsp); cooked spinach (1 c.) drizzled with olive oil (1 tsp) and red-wine vinegar



  • P.M. Snack
    Mixed citrus sections (1 c.)


Saturday

  • Breakfast
    Small blueberry bran muffin; unsweetened applesauce (1 c.); 1 %-fat cottage cheese (1 c.)



  • Lunch
    Spinach-mushroom salad with 1 tsp olive oil; grilled chicken breast (4 oz) with skin removed; whole-grain baguette (2 oz); tomato slices, lettuce; Dijon mustard (2 tsp); fresh cantaloupe and strawberries (1 c.)



  • Supper
    Chardonnay, 5 oz; mixed greens with balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil (1 tsp); grilled swordfish (6 oz), baked or broiled; garlic mashed potatoes (1/2 c.) made with 1% milk and butter (1 tsp); roasted asparagus (1 c.) drizzled with olive oil (1 tsp) and lemon juice



  • P.M. Snack
    Sliced fresh mango (1 c.)


Sunday

  • Breakfast
    2-egg omelet or scrambled eggs; whole-grain English muffin; blackberry jam (1 T); seasonal fresh-fruit salad (1 c.)



  • Lunch
    Split-pea soup (3/4 c.); Ham (3 oz) and cheese (1 oz) sandwich on whole-wheat bread (2 slices) with Dijon mustard; red or green grapes (1 c.)



  • Supper
    Pesto Pasta (Mix 1 T prepared fresh or bottled pesto with 1 c. cooked whole-grain penne, 1/3 c. cooked cannellini beans, and 2 T chopped roasted bell peppers); steamed zucchini (1 c.) with crushed red-pepper flakes and a drizzle of olive oil (1 tsp); sliced kiwi with fresh orange sections (1/2 c.)



  • P.M. Snack
    1 T almond butter, 3 rounds melba toast

Maureen Callahan, MS, RD
Last Updated: February 22, 2008

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